Last week, when we had that nice rainy day, I decided to indulge in my craving for a French dip from CLARE’S DELI, the sandwich shop right by the 500 Club. It ends up that after five years of running the deli, owner Clare Hulme—who many know from her years at the 500 Club—passed the torch to new owner Ken Turner in November. (Hulme is reportedly heading up to Santa Rosa after two decades in the city.)
Turner has quite the rooted SF background. He cooked at Zuni for seven years and most recently worked at getting The Market up and running. And now he has his very own pet project. He is going to close the deli for a remodel in February for a couple of weeks (it’ll be lighter, with some tile and such), and when it reopens, it will be TURNER’S KITCHEN. Now, before you start getting too upset, you should know that Turner cares a lot about keeping the place a neighborhood anchor—he knows how much people enjoy Clare’s sandwiches and he will be keeping many staples on the menu. The same staff will also be there.
But with his NorCal cookery background, you will notice some tweaks here and there—he’s going to shorten the menu a little and feature more farmers’ market-fresh vegetables and seasonal items, which you’ll notice in dishes like the soups. When he reopens, there will also be earlier hours, opening at 7am for drip coffee from Sightglass and pastries, plus later hours for bites at the 500 Club (until 10pm, and 11pm on the weekend). There will be a refrigerated case with some grab-and-go items and juices from Happy Moose. Turner even has some picnic baskets in the works for Dolores Park excursions.
We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, come on by and meet the very friendly Ken, enjoy a well-made sandwich, check out the selection of Devil’s Teeth cookies and brownies, and grab a bag of the duck fat-roasted nuts with Mexican chile and spices to snack on later. 3505 B 17th St. at Guerrero, 415-621-3505.
The French dip at Clare’s. Photo: © tablehopper.com.